A teenage mother arrives at Three Stations, but her baby is stolen. The only person to help her is Zhenya, the young chess hustler who is a sometime ward of Arkady Renko, the police investigator. Meanwhile, Arkady tries to prove that the overdose death of a young prostitute in the station is nothing of the sort, and is suspended for his trouble. A billionaire casino owner with financial troubles offers to hire Arkady, but the latter can trust no-one. Thugs, dwarves, ballerinas, Central Asians and a gang of homeless tweens complicate matters still further.